Giving up my dream

Hi Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This year I am going to discern on my religious vocation. I plan to enter a Religious Brotherhood. As we all know, there is a vow of poverty. I would say, this is one of the hardest vows I could think of yet. I was raised in a not-so-poor and not-so-rich family. When I became a CPA, that was the start of me being able to buy things I want. I could afford to travel and treat my family. When I was still studying, my goal was to be an accountant. Never had I imagined myself being religious. It was while I was working when I delved into my faith. And from there, I began to think that I might be called to religious life. Last 2019, I searched for congregations I could join. And this year, I met some of them. That said, I know there is huge possibility that I may be joining one of them. As this is the year of my discernment, everyday I try to reflect on things spiritually. Then abruptly, I thought that I already moved on from my past. Before thinking of being religious, I always dreamed of travelling for tourism to US. This has been my motivation when I was still in college. Now, this dream is haunting me. I am thinking that maybe, if I become religious, I will never have a chance to go to this place.
I know it sounds petty and immature but it drains me every time I think of it. It perplexes me to the point that I have to choose one. I don’t have problem with vow of poverty, though of course, it will be a challenge, I am just afraid that this particular dream will continue to haunt me down through time; and I don’t want that to happen.

Could you offer some advice?

Thank you so much!

First and foremost, thank you for responding to grace.

Secondly, go spend some mental time with this dream. Sit and make actual plans. Do the calculations. Give it all to St Joseph. Let go of it.

I went to college with grand plans, too, but this particular college had a charism of tapping innate talents. I burned out, and returned as the major of what I had always done as a hobby.

Mrs Cloisters OP
Lay Dominican


You said you have a family. Do you still have kids to take care of, or are they adults now and able to take care of themselves? Before you commit to monasticism, you need to make sure your family is taken care of first.

As for your dream of touring the USA, I don’t see why having some Faith would stop you from doing that. There are some pretty nice cathedrals in religious areas here in the US.

If I was you I would:

  1. make sure my fanily is taken care of (wife has a job, kids are old enough to take care of themselves, or have a nice pension/retirement they can live off of)
  2. Tour the USA for a week or a month, or however long it takes for you to soak it all in
  3. once you’re done with the tour and finances are in order, look into your preferred religious order and ask if you could stay with them for like a week or a month to see if it really is what you are called to do.
  4. most importantly- pray on it before you commit completely.

I hope this helps. God love you. Ave Maria.

Thank you for this. By the way, just want to add. I am from the Philippines. I am single guy. When I said family, I meant my parents and my siblings.:slightly_smiling_face:


In that case, save up and come tour the US before you start your discernment. That way, you won’t have to live with any regrets.


Oh okay that definitely clears it up quite a bit. If I were you I would still considered touring the US and maybe parts of Mexico (mostly the shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe). You are only young once after all.

Since you are a CPA already, you are most likely capable of entering the seminary to study for the priesthood. Think outside of the Religious Brotherhood “box” and choose an order that allows you to be a priest and travel occasionally. The Franciscan priest that helps with our parish was transferred to Rome for half a year so obviously he can travel.

Thanks for the advice. I just can’t see myself as a priest. But, I thought of that as well before. I am just fearful that I won’t be able to visit that country once I am in the congregation.:slightly_smiling_face:

Apologies if this seems petty.:sweat_smile:

Have you read St Therese’s autobiography? She talks about how her visit to Italy before entering a convent made her actually feel better prepared and more satisfied. I think you taking a trip now could have the same result. There are lots of beautiful religious sites you could visit so as to not make it a trip merely for secular pleasures.

I haven’t read it yet. But, you know the thing is I always consider this dream as worldly perhaps, the reason why it confuses me. Will it make me more holy? I don’t think so, but surely it would at least satiate my dream when I was still young. I am a fan of aestheticism, may it be photos or places. And I have a profound connection with them emotionally.

If this individual has a call to be a Brother, he should not pursue priesthood. Priests are not “better” than brothers; they are different.

Keep in mind that many religious end up doing a lot of travel as part of their ministries. I don’t know what congregation you are thinking of, but this may well be possible. I know many sisters who travel for study as well as for conferences–they travel more than I do, and I’m a secular professional! Also, some congregations offer travel as jubilee celebration gifts, or enable people to budget for trips over several years. This, of course, would be dependent on what congregation you enter. And some, of course, have provinces around the world, and you may either be assigned to or be able to choose to minister in another province.


Thank you! I just feel sometimes, it impedes my discernment. There were ups and downs. Whenever I imagine this dream, I feel guilty because I find it selfish. Living a religious life is a lifetime commitment and I don’t want this dream to get in the way and make me feel regretful while living a religious life.

Thank you all for the input.:slightly_smiling_face:

I too advocate visiting the US beforehand. What is stopping you? (Admittedly, the US is not set up for easy travel like Europe is! But maybe a tour?)

@Annie Yup. It’s just I am afraid that I won’t be able to do that anytime soon and might enter the congregation not achieving that dream.

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Thank you all.:slightly_smiling_face:

Lots of religious have opportunities to travel as part of their vocation, ie they may go on pilgrimage or engage in activities that are part of their charism but in foreign countries. So it is not necessarily secular or selfish to travel.

Yeah, thank you. The religious congregation I may choose has a school set-up. So, I might be in the school all the time.

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